A celebration of women


Women across the Hunter have been celebrated this past International Women’s Day, which fell on Sunday 8 March.

The late Jill Emberson was named Newcastle’s 2020 Local Woman of the Year.

Ms Emberson was a Walkley Award-nominated journalist and former Newcastle Citizen of the Year who came to national prominence most recently as a warrior for ovarian cancer awareness.

Her activism through the Pink Meets Teal movement has seen more than $20 million raised for ovarian cancer research.

In Cessnock, Sonia Sharpe was awarded the title for her dedication to ensuring all Aboriginal people have a voice at all levels in the community.

She helps local schools and families with school policies to best help children to achieve educational goals.

In 2019, Ms Sharpe was also the chair of the Cessnock Walks Kawuma Peaceful Walk that was held to raise awareness of the impact of domestic and family violence in the local community.

Foster carer and volunteer Karen Stackman was named Woman of the Year in Maitland.

As the founder of Hunter Academy for Performing Arts, an inclusive not-for profit dance studio, Ms Stackman was given the title because of her dedication to the community and volunteer work.